Practitioners advocate public-private collaboration on health funding

Dr Ohen Geoffrey, Vice Chairman, Eko Hospital Board, Lagos, on Thursday called on governments at all levels to collaborate with the private sector on funding to help improve the healthcare services in the country.

Geoffrey, made the call in a keynote address at the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Association of Resident Doctors, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, in Lagos.

He spoke on : “The Role of Private Sector in Revamping Health Care in Nigeria.”

According to him, the private sectors has a major role in driving and improving healthcare services in the country.

“Both public and private health sectors are to deliver healthcare services but the private sector is to support and provide necessary resources to boost the healthcare services. Most times, the private sector finances healthcare by contributing funds because government cannot handle the funding alone.

“Healthcare system is one that is both public and private but governments is the major player. Both sectors must take responsibility and invest in the health sector to enhance the quality of healthcare.

“For some years, government funds the health system with five per cent in 2013 and it will reduce to 3.9 per cent in 2018,” Geoffrey said.

Also speaking, Dr Okpagu Chikelue, a medical consultant said both public and private partnership have the duty of delivering good healthcare services in the country.

Chikelue, who is a former President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) submitted  that health finances can never be done and achieved by government alone.

“The Private sector should always be involved in healthcare system but government has the political will to make it succeed. The government should always provide laws that will guide the private sector in order to monitor their contributions in health system.

“Governments should always put priority on the health of Nigerians by making sure that health bodies that regulate the practice of medicine are reconstituted.

“It will help the health bodies to monitor and regulate health practices in Nigeria by updating curriculum, upgrading the human resources,finances and so on,” he said.

In his opening remarks, the President of ARD, Dr Adebayo Sekumade said  there should be transparency of Public Private Partnership initiatives (PPP) in order to address the nation’s  health challenges.

He said that public sectors could imbibe the success of private sectors in the business of health and build a framework for a viable partnership between the two.

According to him, this would motivate the health workers in the public sector to deliver good health services to the people.

Dr Olufemi Ojo, the vice president of ARD in his presentation, called on both government and the private sector to invest more in infrastructural facilities in both state and federal hospitals.

Ojo said the establishment of many facilities has become necessary to adequately improve healthcare services and make the workers excel in delivering services to the people.

He said that improving health policies and regulatory frameworks in the healthcare industry would attract more private sector investments.

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